There’s no getting around it: there have been a ton of truly awful superhero/comic book adaptations. I’m looking at you, Punisher. There are a lot that were made for next to no money, and were made only so that a company could hold onto film rights, like the 1994 version of Fantastic Four, or the Captain America movies that starred J.D. Salinger’s son as Cap, had an Italian Red Skull, and Cap’s ears on the side of his mask were rubber. Rubber! There are also some that are really bad adaptations, but not terrible movies, like Constantine. But for the purposes of this list I am looking at the comic book movies that were made by big studios for at least reasonably large budgets. So you won’t see Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four on my list. Also, I haven’t seen the Halle Berry Catwoman, so that won’t be making the list. However, you will see….
5. Superman Returns
What We Wanted to See: A movie that reinvigorated the franchise and moved Superman into the 21st century
What We Got: A sequel/prequel that satisfied nobody
As one of the people that hated Bryan Singer’s X-men films, I did not have high hopes for this. Even so, it was far worse than I ever expected. Superman is portrayed as a total pussy who never throws a punch the whole film, Lex Luthor is a ridiculous retread of the Gene Hackman version, even to the point that his plot is pretty much the same as it was in previous films. Lois Lane looks to be about 20 years old, yet is old enough to have a son. Also, Superman has a bastard son. The direction was terrible, the casting was incredibly wrong at every turn, the plot was ridiculous, the costume was wrong, the ‘action’ was weak, the script was terrible, and oh yeah, SUPERMAN HAS A BASTARD SON and spies on Lois like the world’s creepiest stalker. The only good news is that they never made a sequel.
4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
What We Wanted: Something to take the horrid taste of the previous X-Men films out of our mouths; a hardcore Wolverine movie with insane amounts of violence
What We Got: A watered down, tame version of what we wanted, but with way more characters that somehow all were awful
As a lifelong X-Men fan, I cannot stand any of the X-Men films. First Class was the best to date, but even that was like a ‘C+’ for me. But as bad as X3 was, this was so much worse. I’m not even a big Wolverine fan, but good lord, this seemed like the easiest home run since the Punisher. But, like the Punisher, they struck out terribly. The story is all over the place, with plot twists that are absurd and out of left field. They tried to throw a bunch of recognizable characters from the X-Men mythos in to the film, but all it does is muddy the waters. Gambit and the Blob were pretty lame, and the less said about ‘Deadpool’, the better. Hell, even a relatively cool sequence between a teenage Cyclops and ‘Sabretooth’ in the halls of a high school, which should have been great, was just ‘meh’.
When a few seconds of flashback from X2 does your entire movie better than you did, and in a few seconds, you know you fucked up.
What We Wanted: With the lowest of expectations, something, ANYTHING, to ease the pain of Daredevil
What We Got: An insult to Elektra fans, comic book fans, movie fans, and the human race
Good lord, this is a terrible movie. We thought Daredevil was pretty near the bottom, but that shit was nowhere NEAR the bottom. Elektra found the bottom, and started digging. A nonsensical clusterfuck of bad acting, terrible fights, and absolutely ridiculous villains, this disaster should be a huge embarrassment to every single person involved in its production.
We should have had something evocative of this:
Instead, we got Jennifer Garner goofing around with ninja weapons in the woods and a big house that seemed to be furnished with nothing but billowing bedsheets everywhere. And the villains! The villains are SOOOOO bad! I know I already mentioned this, but Jesus Christ, they are stupid. They could have had Bullseye, the Hand, or any number of Marvel baddies to throw our girl up against, but instead we got just fucking shit.
2. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
What We Wanted: There were not a lot of expectations for this, as most moviegoers had never heard of the property. But fans wanted something at least faithful to the comic
What We Got: A boring, flat action movie
While not the most well known comic book property, Alan Moore’s ‘League of Extraordinary Gentelemen’ deserved better than this. The film version take the comic and just wipes its ass with it, tosses it in the trash, sets it on fire, and spits on it. All of the imagination, creativity, wit, and character development of the comic was tossed aside in favor of wooden characters, awful computer effects, and Sean Connery.
No wonder Alan Moore wants nothing to do with any of the adaptations that have been made from his work, like V for Vendetta, From Hell, Constantine, and Watchmen.
1. Batman & Robin
What We Wanted: Holding out hope against all logic, something better than the previous 2 films in the series
What We Got: Raped in the brain
Fuck this movie.
Seriously. Fuck this movie. Fuck it.